Veterans and service members consistently give irreplaceable gifts through their service, and many people wonder about the best way to give back to them and their families. Luckily, an abundance of charities and volunteer organizations makes it easy for anybody to help out servicemen and women. Whether you want to make a contribution to a veteran's health and well-being or support a larger organization dedicated to helping service members, there's bound to be a way for you to give back.
Help Provide Medical Care for Veterans
Unfortunately, as many as one in three veterans suffers from PTSD, and over 400,000 veterans have endured traumatic brain injuries since 2000. One way to help service members in your community is to volunteer your time at nonprofit organizations, such as Disabled American Veterans, that work nationwide to transport veterans to hospitals, assist them with caregiving, and provide information on Veterans Affairs programs that can help them further.
If you're unable to volunteer, donating to organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project can go a long way toward helping veterans get the care they deserve.
Assist a Veteran in Finding a Home
One way to help displaced veterans is to assist them in finding or modifying their homes. A veteran is eligible for a VA loan, which enables them to buy a home with little or no down payment. This makes purchasing a home much more affordable. Additionally, they're likely to get better rates with a VA home loan than with a standard loan, and they don't have to pay for private mortgage insurance since this program is funded through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans and service members are eligible for many other valuable benefits through federal and local programs.
To give back to veterans in your area, or to help a charity that you believe in, use sites like Charity Navigator to find organizations near you or across the country. Also, sites like Make the Connection can help you find organizations specific to veterans.
Help Veterans Stay Connected
Lots of organizations can help veterans reconnect with family or connect with an anonymous giver. Consider giving back to a service member in these ways:
• Help a service member call home. Operation Phone Home
is an organization that provides access to free phone calls for overseas
troops. Donations help finance this project and let service members speak to
• Help a veteran get connected to others. Tell a veteran about online forums, such as Together We Served, that provide discussion and support groups for veterans all over the country.
• Send a care package to a service member. If you know a service member, sending a package with memories of home is a great way to help them stay connected. The U.S. Postal Service offers free materials for sending packages overseas on its website.
Giving Back to Veterans
Many organizations exist
for the purpose of helping veterans and service members continue to live
fulfilling and active lives, and you can get involved in one or more. For
further resources concerning veteran wellness and business growth.